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No plans for Famine exhibition - because there aren't enough artifacts left

The Minister for Arts said most of what remains is statistical and pictorial.

The Famine Memorial in Dublin's city centre
The Famine Memorial in Dublin's city centre
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A PERMANENT EXHIBITION dedicated to the Famine has been ruled out because there are not enough artifacts remaining to hold one.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said that a permanent exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland  had been considered but that most of the evidence from the Famine is “statistical and pictorial”.

Jimmy Deenihan was responding to a question from Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams who asked if the government had any plans for a dedicated exhibition. Over one million people died in the Famine which lasted from 1845 to 1849.

The Minister said that the National Famine Commemoration Committee had considered the feasibility of an exhibition in the past but it had proved impossible.

“It has been given to understand that much of the evidence relating to the Great Famine is statistical and pictorial, and there are very limited artefacts that could be exhibited at the National Museum,” he told the Dáil.

“In this regard, I am advised that there is insufficient material to support an exhibition of the type referred to by the Deputy”.

The Minister said that this year’s National Famine Commemoration will take place on Sunday 13 May in Drogheda, Co Louth.

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